Better Stories

I want to write better stories. I want to write stories of snowshoeing under the stars, eight girls in my Corolla laughing hysterically as we drive to church, exploring the State Fair, jumping off of cliffs into pools of cool water, driving across state lines for concerts worthy of such distances, reaching the tops of peaks, embarrassing Halloween costumes, playing Cinderella at black-tie events, Red Door Parties, spinning around the dance floors on Thursdays, Pearl Street happy hours on Mondays and thousands of miles walked around Wash Park.

Circumstances brought me back to pictures. Pictures spurred on memories. And these memories were filled with people and places and the ordinary that seemed so extraordinary, all the seriously ridiculous adventures that transformed the mundane and routine into the picture-worthy, made me sad. Actually, it was more like disappointment. Disappointment in my own self for letting go of the rush and slowing down to just under a million miles an hour.

My life was overflowing years before there was a Facebook forum for bragging about such events. Sure, I may have blogged, but it was for my fellow adventurers to see the pictures or read my take on our shared silliness. People didn’t post things to look cool or one-up co-workers on Monday mornings. We lived life out loud and as full as possible because we loved every moment of it and couldn’t get enough.

I can look back and see how and when and why I began to slow down, when the energetic approach to everything at a thousand-and-ten-percent seemed to fade…but that’s no excuse.

Encouraged by one of those rare, life-long friends with whom I’ve been blessed, I picked up Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years for the second time. Those of you who know me well know that I have not always been a Donald Miller fan and have previously had loose plans to fly to Portland and talk to him about some things in his writing that frustrate me. My friend dated his friend, so we’re practically BFFs, right? Anyway, as I sit here and read his book about writing better stories, I’m reminded that it takes some words being put on the pages. Words that others will read and write with you. Words written in color. Words filled with images. Words filled with laughter. Words filled with tears. Words filled with life. The Author Himself can only do so much. He can invite us onto the pages, but on some level, unless we are willing to pick up the pen and scribble our messy stories guided by His great plans, we get nowhere.

Consider this my promise to myself to write better stories, to pursue the seriously ridiculous. After all, isn’t it the seriously ridiculous that inspires the most laughter, creates the best adventure, reflects God’s love to the fullest, orchestrates authentic relationship and opens up endless opportunities beyond our wildest imagination?

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